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How to run a radio station for $99 / radiomagonline

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Quentin Howard is a man with a mission: To work out if he can run a fully-featured radio station on hardware that costs less than $99. Quentin, who was chief engineer for the UK's national Classic FM and instrumental in the UK's adoption of DAB Digital Radio, is running his own radio station as a bit of fun - deliberately using cheap hardware. "I wanted to run a fully-functional radio station - with a completely automated music schedule, station IDs, encoding and streaming, and pulling in external audio sources. I wanted it broadcasting the time signal at the top of the hour; and for me to be able to broadcast live if I wanted to," he said.

The system that does this? A £70 (US$94) tablet computer, running Windows 10. The challenge that Quentin has set himself is to ensure that the system runs reliably, and the touch software remains responsive and usable on a 7-inch screen. "Classical titles are more complicated to music schedule - extreme durations, multiple artists, composers, different versions of same piece, segues in different keys, screeching sopranos, non-English alphabets - so it's a good stress test of music rotation and playout, which is really what this is all about. If it can do all this well, any pop/rock format station is a doddle!", he says.

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